Tanzania – Drying water source in Mwembe Village !
Zena Mohamed and Sophia Dissa are women living in Mwembe village. These women informed that in 1970s Mwembe was covered by many trees. The trees protected was and the village was full of water and the women informed that during the past (in 1970’s and 1980’s) many villagers from Mwembe and Chajo villages came to fetch water at the natural water source! They also indicated that even people from Manyata and Kirinjiko villages which are located about 10km far came to Mwembe village for fetching water using donkeys. By then was too safe to the point that people used to drink water without boiling it.
The source which was being talked by these women is Kimunyu water source which was surrounded by many trees. This Kimunyu water source had abundant all the time and there were some traditional restrictions to guide the water use. Elders, Mzee Ngele and Mzee Shabani Kitunga were active in ensuring that traditions and customs safe guiding the use of the water source and the surrounding trees are observed. The situation changed when Mzee Kitunga died in 1996. The situation became worse and now water is a big challenge to Mwembe village.
In general environmental degradation around the area has affected availability of water at the reliable water source. From 1990, destruction of forests for agricultural purposes around Mhezi ward, Mwerera, Kwainka and Mteke hills affected availability of water in Mwembe village. As a result of this situation of water shortage women currently spend many hours waiting for water at the water source especially during the months of January to March and July to October which are dry seasons.
By Zena Mohamed and Sophia Dissa